The New Wine Book Thread

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by David Crossley, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. Tom’s annual list. Only occasionally nominate a fizz - as they rarely pass muster.
    Rumour has it that their rosé ‘16 is very tasty.

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
    Steven Pritchard likes this.
  2. I'm none the wiser for reading that review Claude.
  3. Hmm, that could cut two ways, Richard. :);)
  4. Has anyone seen this new book..?

    The New Wines of Mount Etna : An Insider's Guide to the History and Rebirth of a Wine Region by Benjamin North Spencer

    Just out this year, just been chatting to Mark P about it. I've ordered a copy, but it won't arrive until next month apparently... I don't know the author but am fascinated by the region and love many of the wines, so looking forward to it.
    Current Consorzio President Antonio Benanti has given it a glowing review in the introduction.
    David Crossley likes this.
  5. This is new to me. The only book I know on Sicily is Palmento by American author Robert Camuto. It has its limitations but I enjoyed it enough to read it a second time. I will be 100% interested in whether BNS's book passes muster, guys (Adam, Mark).

    I've reviewed the 2nd (English) edn of Luis Gutiérrez's "The New Vignerons" book on Spain this week. I know Mark C feels its focus on just fourteen producers is too narrow for him, but I liked the greater depth the author was able to go into by those restrictions. Many of you will know that I think Spain is currently the most exciting wine country right now and the people profiled have all played a major part in taking Spain forward through a renaissance in many of her traditions (regions, viticulture, grape varieties and vinification techniques, using tradition with the best of modern methods). The photos are pretty good, and Luis' choice of subjects is pretty much spot on.

    Anyone read Skelton's book on English and Welsh wine? I'm fearful he'll do what quite a few authors do in this particular series - ignore the young winemakers who are changing the game. But in the unlikely event anyone has read it, I'd love to hear.
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  7. Had an update to say the book will be with me by 9th April, so I'll be able to report back sooner than expected :)
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  8. Here’s an old one - I’ve been reading Puligny Montrachet - Journal of a Village in Burgundy by Simon Loftus, kindly loaned to me for lockdown reading by forumite David Bennett. It was published in 1992 and the author was head of wine at Adnams, eventually Chairman of the company.

    I like a book that confounds preconceptions. I was morosely expecting an expanded version of the sort of gushing prose that sometimes accompanies wine merchant’s offers of wines - amusing local characters, descriptions of bucolic rural scenes, lovely food of undeniable authenticity, yawn.

    In fact I found it to be much more interesting. The latter sections where Loftus is present for a vintage and where he rounds-up producers and vineyards is the least interesting thing here. Before that comes a more thought provoking set of reflections on Puligny. Bearing in mind this was written almost 30 years ago, it’s both prescient and surprisingly relevant. Loftus laments the malign influence of money on Puligny - he paints a picture of a village where there was no longer any sense of community and where the pursuit of money had become disproportionately important. He was already flagging a trend for residential properties in the village to be bought by rich wineries and left empty most of the year so they can be used as accommodation during the harvest. He’s amusingly scathing about terrible refurbs of historic properties.

    Finally there’s real resonance now in the several mentions of how pleased various producers are with their new pneumatic presses, especially Leflaive - how clear and pure the juice runs!

    Loftus writes really well - well worth a look, IMO.
    Steve Slatcher likes this.
  9. Andy, when I read that now quite a while ago, I was impressed with the pace of his prose reflecting his feelings as he progressed in the book. It started all bouncy, excited and energetic and then dwindled away as he got progressively more disappointed and depressed, only to burst back into full gallop as he got reinvigorated at harvest time.
    A very human book by an exceptionally talented man
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  10. As you suggest a very thought provoking book. The rather miserable tasting section reminds us now that things weren't at all as they should have been even then.
    Andy Leslie likes this.
  11. There's also "The world of Sicilian Wine", which has been out for some time now, and is more of a conventional wine book than Camuto's. For anyone interested in the wines of Sicily it is very worthwhile - for the words (a vastly under-rated aspect of books IMO), if not the overall design and pictorial content. Reviewed by some random blogger here:
    The World of Sicilian Wine – book review
  12. I bought a second hand (sorry - pre-loved) copy a while back and really enjoyed it. Keep meaning to give it another go.
  13. I always enjoyed Loftus (as indeed i enjoyed his choices when he was a buyer-director of Adnams’ wine arm...ahead of his time). As has already been suggested, he always has a very slightly different angle, not confrontational but questioning.

    Is he still around? Didn’t he go on to Chair the brewery side? He was a sad loss to the wine arm. “Abe’s Sardines and Other Stories” is another of his I recall fondly.
  14. Does anyone have a view on Inside Bordeaux? I'm reserving judgement until I've had a chance to sit down and have a proper read, but thus far I'm a tad underwhelmed. It's seems to me that it's not a patch on Inside Burgundy - not because of the quality of the writing or research, but that the subject matter just isn't as interesting (to me, anyway).
  16. Indeed, a great loss to Adnams. I have that book on Montrachet laying around somewhere. Keep meaning to read it and getting distracted.
    The Adnams wine shop used to have so m at good bottles and was a proper merchant whereas now it’s just a retailer. I had my only bottle of Petrus from them when they used to get an allocation. Such a shame to see the demise
    Of this institution.
    Still see Loftus out and about occasionally. Lives in Halesworth I believe. Such a shame the annual jolly err AGM
    In Southwold is no longer Where he and other notables came out.. A cost saving but life is poorer for it.
  17. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    I was sent a new book published by the Academie di Vin (Steven Spurrier's venture) on Chateau Musar 'The Story of an Icon' which I know would potentially have interest for many on the forum. To be honest I have not read it, just a quick flick through so far, but to me it's one of those 'lavishly-illustrated' coffee table-style books which is a vanity publishing project of some sort, though again I could be wrong on that. I am sure it will have interest for Musar-lovers even so.
  18. I'm tempted to purchase a copy, but ultimately know I'll be rewarded more by buying & opening a bottle of Musar.
  19. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    Mark, a perk was they sent me a bottle of the latest vintage too:

    Château Musar, Red Wine 2013
    Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, Dry Red, Cork, 14.0% abv 94/100
    (2020) Musar famously releases it's wines only when they think they are ready to drink, typically seven years after vintage. So this is the latest release at time of review, a blend of Cinsault, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon from very old vines grown at over 1,000 metres altitude in the Bekaa Valley. It seems to me to be an outstanding Musar, filled with gently lifted aromatics of kirsch and blackcurrant, all framed by a graphite and cedar notes of serious, savoury and Bordeaux-like character. In the mouth the sweet, ripe fruit is enveloping, but the wine has such fabulous concentration and supple, firm structure at its core, all polished tannins and gastronomic acid-balance, the pure, sweet fruit persisting to the elegant, very long finish. A wonderfully impressive young Musar this, irresistable now, but capable of substantial cellaring too, Musar tending to transition from something like Bordeaux, to something closer to Burgundy, over decades.
  20. Thats bizarre you posted at same time as I did on same subject! Not sure I am more likely to purchase or not after your post.
  21. Now, that’s what I call a positive review. :cool:
    I don’t normally buy on release, but may make an exception.
    Tom Cannavan likes this.
  22. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    Willie, I certainly wouldn't want to put you off - as I say I haven't read it, so really cannot comment on the content - it might be wonderful!

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